Over the past year, it’s been a pleasure getting to know the ladies behind the children’s brand, The Bella Bean. I’ve share their clothes, gifts, sales, etc on the blog and social media. Today it’s time to share a bit more behind the scenes and introduce you to the women behind The Bella Bean: Kelly and Marisa. Enjoy this interview with the owners of The Bella Bean.
How did you two become business partners?
We both went to The Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) graduating in 2006, and spent significant time in the “corporate world” traveling for work, but always had the dream to own our own business. We’ve always had a weak-spot for children’s clothing; especially classic clothing. So, creating a children’s boutique just made sense! The two of us has very strong business backgrounds and after much discussion, we decided to take that leap of faith and launch The Bella Bean.
Where does the name The Bella Bean come from?
Bella was Kelly and her husband John’s beloved golden retriever that was nick-named “Bella Bean”. She was the most amazing dog and you can find her silhouette on all of our labels and marketing pieces!
Tell us a bit about each of you (where you grew up, kids, etc)
In 2009, we both moved to Upper Arlington, Ohio. Kelly is originally from Worthington, Ohio a nearby suburb, while Marisa grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA.
We are best friends that live in the same town and just a few streets apart. We’re raising five children between our two families. Jack, Kate and Will (Kelly’s kids) are 6, 4 and 1. Lilly and Lydia (Marisa’s daughters) are 5 and 3. Having children staggered in ages, as well as a good mix of boys and girls, gives us a perfect balance of models! We are also fortunate to see how pieces fit on a variety of body types.
Our love for classic clothing and monogramming is deep-seeded. As children we were dressed in preppy clothing which stuck with with us into adulthood. Growing up, Kelly and her sister both had the exact same initials; her parents did this so that all of Kelly’s monogrammed goodies could be passed down and used again! Kelly replicated this idea with her children; Jack is John Hamilton Cousins V and carries the same initials as her husband John, while Kate carries the same initials as Kelly. Marisa loved the ingenious idea to share initials and monogrammed pieces as Kelly and her sister did growing up, so she did the same for Lilly & Lydia. Monogramming is ingrained in both our families!
Where do you get the inspiration for all your adorable designs?
As you can imagine, designing clothing is quite a timely process. We sit down months and months ahead of a season and start with a white notebook and a pencil. We draw inspiration from vintage patterns and really try to think about what we would want our own children to wear for life’s special occasions. As we have grown, you have likely noticed that we are offering more “everyday” classic clothing items for children. In our shop you’ll find a wide variety of products; looks that kiddos can wear just about any day and special occasion pieces for all those special holidays and milestones.
What’s the most rewarding part of this business?
For us, it’s seeing all of your kiddos in our designs…especially for those special occasions! Whether it’s a piece from our Birthday Collection, Summer swimwear, or even Christmas pajamas, it brings us so much joy! We know that there are lots of clothing lines to choose from, so we truly appreciate you choosing us!
What’s one dream you have for Bella Bean?
Our dream is for brand to become a household name. We achieved so much growth and recognition in just three short years and we hope this continues. Word of mouth referrals are the greatest way our business grows and it’s always heartwarming when we meet someone new and they unexpectedly tell us they already know about The Bella Bean and are familiar with our brand.